Cooling, Noise, and Power
Beyond all of the standard performance tests it is also important to be able to see how well the Titan X is going to work in your build. To do that I test the idle and load power consumption, its noise performance, and its cooling performance. Performing well in game in important, but if the card is just going to overheat it’s all for nothing. So to start things off I ran the Titan X through Heaven Benchmark again, this time using our Kill-A-Watt to watch our test benches power consumption. Considering the 250 watt TDP and its performance I was expecting it to pull a lot of power. Surprisingly it did better than I expected pulling less than a whole list of other high end cards like the R9 290’s and R9 290X, even the reference GTX 780 Ti pulled more power under load. At idle the numbers were about what you would expect, no big surprises there as well.
Next I cooled the card down and pulled out our decibel meter to test the noise output of the card. Here I test with the fan turned up to 100%, then down to 50%, then at idle. This gives us a good idea of what to expect under most situations. The Titan X did fall near the top of our charts here for noise output at 100% fan speed beating the GTX 980 even but this is about what to expect from the reference design. In order to push all of that air all the way out the back of your PC it does make a lot of noise. At the lower fan speeds the numbers were actually a little lower than the other cards near the top of the charts due to the Titan X only running the one fan where some of the others have two or three.
Last but not least I ran the Titan X through Heaven Benchmark once again to get an idea of just how hot the card will run in a real world situation. This is letting the card run at whatever speed it would like, companies have to balance noise and performance. In this case Nvidia has the Titan X set to maintain a temperature of 83 degrees Celsius putting it all the way up at the second hottest card tested, tied with the GTX 780 Ti. That’s no huge shock given the Ti does have a similar cooler and fan profile.